|System: Xbox 360, PC, MAC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: PopCap Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: PopCap Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 08, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
This isnt to say that every level will play out in the same way, however, as there is plenty of variety thrown at the player in the form of different environmental situations, as well as a large variety of distinct zombies. Aside from the basic zombie, who is rather slow and weak, youll find zombies carrying screen doors (making them stronger), zombies who tunnel under the ground and attack your plants from behind, and even a zombie who rides a Zamboni. There are honestly too many zombie types to mention, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and strategies that, when combined with environmental differences (such as water, daylight, and night), make playing each level different than the last.
However, this is all just for the single-player adventure, as Plants vs. Zombies also comes with co-op, versus, survival, puzzle, and mini-game modes. Survival is self explanatory, pitting you against a never ending onslaught of zombies. Mini-game mode offers up a variety of interesting options, such as walnut bowling (approaching zombies being the pins) and defending your house using only what you get from pulling the arm on a slot machine that uses sun power like silver dollars. Puzzle mode presents the player with challenges, such as breaking a series of vases whose contents are a mystery (it could be a random zombie type or a plant to help defend), which require a bit more thought in order to survive.
The versus and co-op modes are probably the most interesting, providing significantly more replay value than the others. In co-op mode, you and another local player (sorry, no online for co-op or versus) each get smaller seed pouches and must work together to take out the approaching zombie hordes. Since your pouches are so small and you dont share sun power, deciding who will take which seeds and who needs to collect sun power provides for many interesting matches. However, in versus mode, two players go head-to-head, with one manning the plants and defending the house and the other sending the undead on a seek-and-eat mission. This mode is a blast to play, although it does seem a tad easier when playing on the zombie side of the equation.
If you have even a passing interest in the tower defense genre, Plants vs. Zombies would likely be a good place to start. Due to the way it is set up, getting into the game and knowing what is expected is easier than in most other titles in the genre. However, if youre a longtime fan of the genre, dont let the games saccharine exterior fool you; there is a deep and difficult game underneath. In either case, Plants vs. Zombies is a fantastic and entertaining experience and has a wide variety of modes to keep players coming back.
CCC News Director